TRS, Congress firmly entrenched in a battle to cash in on sentiment in Lok Sabha, assembly elections on Wednesday
Hyderabad: As election campaigning ended in Telangana, which in June will become India’s newest and 29th state, the regional political party Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the Congress seem to be firmly entrenched in a battle to cash in on statehood sentiment in the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections due on 30 April.
Led by K. Chandrasekhara Rao, popularly known as KCR, the TRS seems to be having an edge over the Congress in the elections, and is likely to end up with a few more seats than its rival. In the best-case scenario, analysts pointed out, the TRS may manage to scrape through with a simple majority. Or the new state could witness a hung assembly.
If the TRS manages to put up a good show, it could sorely disappoint the ruling Congress party that proactively divided the Telugu-speaking state of Andhra Pradesh, sidelining the concerns of parties that wanted to keep it united, with an eye on garnering the maximum number of seats in the forthcoming elections from Telangana.
Telangana will send 17 members to the Lok Sabha and elect 119 legislators to the state assembly, which will be divided into legislatures representing the new state and Seemandhra, as the state comprising the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions will together be known.
The TRS backtracked on a promise to merge with the Congress if Telangana was created, leading to an intense political rivalry between the two parties in the run-up to the elections. But the TRS seems to be having the edge, going by turnout and response at election rallies.
“Right now the wave is in favour of the TRS because KCR has successfully projected that the purpose of creation of Telangana was achieved by the TRS,” K. Srinivasulu, dean of the School of Social Sciences at Osmania University, said.
Public meetings of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi failed to elicit the kind of response the party’s leaders would have hoped for. The turnout was not on expected lines, and the crowd response was discouraging for an address by the country’s top political family.
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